Twilight was never so good. As we sailed into Palmeira bay, on the
island of Sal in the Cape Verde archipelago, we were escorted by a playful group
of dolphins, always great to see.
The sun was slowly sinking into the sea spreading a reddish glow
everywhere, especially over the barren landscape. This island is described as a slice of
the Sahara in the Atlantic, with a few volcanic cones thrown in – from what
we’ve seen so far, that’s accurate.
After six days and five nights at sea, including some pretty scruffy
conditions, the prospect of a comfortable, quiet anchorage was bliss. We anchored, tidied up Bandit and poured
ourselves a huge rum…. we don’t drink on passage so this one made up for
that! Dinner was the mahimahi David
caught yesterday – absolutely delicious.
We crashed at 8pm and didn’t stir until 8am this morning.
Our morning SSB radio check-in showed the value of such
communications when one yacht crossing the Atlantic, about a third of the way
across, called in with serious problems – he’d lost his rudder. Naturally the skipper was fairly anxious
about his situation and sought the advice of fellow cruisers. Sailing with our group is one chap who
has been at sea for 40 odd years and circumnavigated several times. He came on and calmly came up with a
solution – tow a makeshift drogue secured by a bridle to each corner of the
transom which gives some steering.
Several other boats, although hundreds of miles away, immediately offered
help and support if needed. The
boat has no option but to keep heading downwind for the Caribbean. Regular radio checks have been arranged
which must be comforting. Good luck
to them…..we will be anxiously following their progress along with 30 others on
our daily net!!
We plan to spend a couple of days exploring Sal and then
head west towards Sao Nicolau and Sao Vicente. First plan is to head into the village
here to get a few supplies and clear customs. David has already visited a fellow
cruiser (who we chased all the way down) and discovered that we take an open
deck truck into the village…..the three mile trip costs a euro. Now we just have to scramble around and
try and find some euros (the currency is escuda but they love euros). We tried hard to spend our last euros in
the Canaries but I know if I dig into David’s pockets and drawers I will come up